VIEWPOINTS: How early is too early for Christmas?

Halloween had barely ended when the first tinsel and red and green decor started going up in Wilmington area drug stores this year. 

Commercial Christmas is upon us – nearly a month and a half ahead of schedule. Some Charlotte stores were revving up “Jingle Bells” in September. 

With the exception of local performance groups, who start practicing Christmas and holiday music in September for early December concerts, why does the Christmas season seem to get earlier each year?

Is it an economic thing, maybe stores jumping the gun earlier and earlier each year to gobble more cash before the Thanksgiving turkey even gets stuffed? Early Christmas layaway deals are enticing many to get into the holiday spirit sooner. 

Last year, The Atlantic did a series on Santanomics about whether or not the holiday season was actually bad for the economy. 

Santa Claus is even coming early to Wilmington this year, arriving at Independence Mall on Nov. 17.  

But does celebrating Christmas, even passively, for a month longer than usual twist the holiday's meaning? When is too soon to start Christmas?

6 Responses to “VIEWPOINTS: How early is too early for Christmas?”

  1. Tiffany McCallen

    The adult in me wants to say it is DEFINITELY too early to celebrate Christmas. In fact, I was aghast when I drove by my neighbor’s house on Nov.1 and saw the twinkle of a Christmas tree in her window. That said, the kid in me is ready to rev up for the beauty of the season. She’s ready for garland, hot chocolate and caroling!

  2. tracy

    They were selling Christmas stuff here in Spokane BEFORE Halloween. Now that’s way too early in my book!

  3. Elizabeth Terry

    How perfect that our consumer nation is moving from Halloween, not even stopping at All Souls/Saints days and moving right to Santa Day.

    Some may say that we celebrate Christmas too early, I am not sure that as a culture we celebrate Christmas at all.

    An aspect that I love about fall holidays is the pause to celebrate the lives of our loved ones and to be grateful for the bountiful harvest. These pauses deepen my gratitude for my life.

    It seems that the holiday calendar jumps Labor Day directly to Christmas. REALLY?!

    Mary Jo Leddy in her book RADICAL GRATITUDE (Orbis Books, 2002) writes of “Perpetual Dissatisfaction”, “The Cultural of Money” and consumerism: “As the people in captivity in Bablyon discovered that their God was essentially a God of creative power, so we too are invited to reflect on how God is different from the gods of the culture of money. We too can look on the world as something very good, as something grand and given. We too can be moved to awe, to astonishment, and to gratitude.”

    In recent years to have been very rewarding to share my abundance with my brothers and sisters around the world through organizations such as World Vision ( ) and Heifer International ( ) A small donation of just $25.00 can make a huge difference in the lives of those in need. This is the kind of gift giving brings back memories of homemade gifts at Christmas and, for me, the true meaning of Christmas.

  4. Deborah Ann Culp

    Yes I do think that Christmas comes way too early. I for one hate the pressure of the commerical advertisements, and people who are peddling the tangible”goodies” of Christmas! I was in a local drug-store getting a prescription filled and taking care of a photo need and went down an aisle to get a mailing envelope for a package.When I looked further down the aisle, I saw snippets of green, red and gold; “true Christmas colors” indeed. Oh and then there were Christmas trees, wreaths, garland, and other tree and/or decorating accessories too. I and my family always believed that “Jesus is the reason for for season, and still do”. But one small voice such as mine, won’t make a difference in the fight against commercialized Christmas. Gratitude is my attitude and knowing that there are people out there that are worse off than I am or do not have the means to make it daily, less knowing the pressure of Christmas. On that note, before we think of ourselves and all that we want, place a check or money order in an envelope (or donate on-line) to a shelter or children’s venue or cause, for good measure. Also, we can give of our time, volunteer at one or more than one agency or organization. Volunteer Match is a great place to start, last ask your family and friends what charity is close to their heart or which one they are already involved with.

  5. David Yonke

    I actually saw Christmas decorations on display in a Hobby Lobby store in August! I had to do a doubletake. But they had already set up one aisle full of Christmas lights, ornaments and other holiday decorations. Might as well make it year-round if you’re starting that early.

  6. Bonny Logsdon Burns

    I saw a fully dressed Christmas tree in Kohl’s before Halloween. Yes, it is too soon for retailers to start touting Christmas. Do they think we’ll forget about Christmas? Honest, we won’t. I would caution the retail industry that their consumers will become complacent when things become familiar. But, I am speaking of adults. I am not sure what this does to the children of today other than driving their parents nuts with the ‘wants.’

    More retailers need to follow Nordstrom’s lead in committing to ‘one holiday at a time.’ A circulating picture on the internet shows that Nordstrom has publicly stated they will not put up Christmas decorations until after Thanksgiving. (What little research I’ve done to verify the legitimacy of this has proved it is accurate.)

    Does the premature heralding of Christmas twist it’s meaning? Personally, it would for me if the meaning for gifting is lost to “affluenza”, trying to give the best gifts and the most gifts so that you are a favored person. If you feel pressured by the earlier Christmas decorations, then it’s a negative effect. But, in this economy even if the pressure is felt, the reality is there just isn’t as much extra cash for gifts. The underlying reason for my gifting is symbolic of Christ’s gift of love to us.

    Many celebrate Christ’s love through helping the underprivileged year round. But, if you do choose to focus a more concerted effort in giving at Christmas I wholeheartedly agree with Elizabeth Terry above. If you wish to help Wilmington specific areas of service, the Wilmington site of Christian Women’s Job Corps ( is my personal favorite. This link cites ALL the charities in New Hanover County:


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